Assam is a state in northeastern India which adds a lot of value in terms of eco tourism in North East India. Located south of the eastern Himalayas, Assam comprises the Brahmaputra Valley and the Barak Valley along with the Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts with an area of 30,285 sq mi (78,440 km2). Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses is a World Heritage Site. Apart from Kaziranga Assam has another beauty of nature which is the Manas national park which is very popular for Hoolock Gibbon, Capped langurs. Because of this kind of bio enriched forest areas tours in kaziranga became popular.
According to the census held in March 2015, which was jointly conducted by the Forest Department of the Government of Assam and some recognized wildlife NGOs, the Rhino population in Kaziranga National Park is 2,401. It comprises 1,651 adult rhinos (663 male, 802 are females, 186 unsexed); 294 sub-adults (90 males, 114 females, 90 unsexed); 251 juveniles and 205 cubs. Kaziranga is home to the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world, and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer. Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species. When compared with other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation. Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.
Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, crisscrossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park includes numerous small bodies of water. Kaziranga has been the theme of several books, songs, and documentaries. The park celebrated its centennial in 2005 after its establishment in 1905 as a reserve forest.
Assam, along with Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya, is one of the Seven Sister States. Geographically Assam and these states are connected to the rest of India via a 22 kilometres (14 mi) strip of land in West Bengal called the Siliguri Corridor or “Chicken’s Neck”. Assam shares an international border with Bhutan and Bangladesh.
The state has conserved the one-horned Indian rhinoceros from near extinction, along with the wild water buffalo, pygmy hog, tiger and various species of Asiatic birds. It provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephant. The Assamese economy is aided by wildlife tourism, centred around Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park which are World Heritage Sites. Sal tree forests are found in the state, which as a result of rainfall looks green all year round. Assam receive more rainfall compared to most part of India. This rain feeds the Brahmaputra River, whose tributaries and oxbow lakes provide the region with a hydro-geomorphic and aesthetic environment.
The Kamakhya temple near Guwahati is a great pilgrimage destinations for people. In this temple mother goddess Kamakhya is worshipped. Its one of the 51 Shakti Pithas which is situated in the Nilachal Hills in western part of Guwahati.
How to Reach Assam Kaziranga Manas National Park
By Air: Assam is very well connected with the country by Air and it has got the major airport which is Guwahati Airport (GAU). Daily flights are available from Kolkata (CCU), New Delhi (DEL) and other airports in India. Apart from Guwahati the state has got another few airports like Dibrugarh (DIB), Silchar (IXS), Tezpur (TEZ), Jorhat(JRH).
By Train: Guwahati is the major railway station in this route and Guwahati (GHY) is very well connected with Kolkata, Delhi and other parts of the country.
For Kaziranga you have to reach Guwahati and from Guwahati to Kaziranga distance is around 200km which takes 5hrs time in pvt vehicles.
For Manas the nearest major railway station is New Bongaigaon (NBQ) which is connected via Guwahati and Kolkata. A lot of trains stop at New Bongaigaon station. From here Manas is around 85kms far which takes around 2.30hrs journey by road.
By Road: NH 27 connects Guwahati with other parts of the country. The road from Siliguri to Guwahati goes through the Dooars forest and its a awesome 10hrs journey. However because of the proper train and air connectivity its better to save some time and reach Guwahati by Train or Air.
Pic Courtesy: Arvind GJ